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Gavel, Relic, Wood, White House Christmas Tree, Eisenhower, South Dakota, Vintage, c. 1956
Keep South Dakota Green Association (presented by) White House Christmas Tree Relic Wood Presentation Gavel
American: c. 1956
White spruce wood and brass plate
11 x 4 x 1.5 inches, overall
Turned wood presentation gavel of typical form, with a brass band engraved with a dedication, wrapped around the center of the head and affixed with two nails. According to the dedication, the gavel was made from a white spruce tree from the Black Hills of South Dakota, after the tree had been displayed as a Christmas tree on the White House lawn during the administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower in December 1955. The gavel was presented by the Keep South Dakota Green Association, an environmental conservation and educational organization that has been active from at least the 1950s.
The spruce was cut in the Black Hills National Forest. A 1959 photograph in the archives of the South Dakota State Historical Society shows a marker that was for a time displayed beside the stump that says the tree “was the center of attention at the Christmas Pageant of Peace on the White House lawn.”
Brass plate: Black Hills White Spruce Made from President Eisenhower’s 1955 Christmas Tree Presented by the Keep S.D. Green Assn.
Condition: Generally very good, richly finished, and with only minor wear and handling. Light abrasions and oxidation to brass band.
“Black Hills – President Eisenhower’s Christmas Tree Marker.” South Dakota State Historical Society. http://sddigitalarchives.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/photos/id/5908/rec/5 (24 July 2013).